Transportation and Natural Resources
Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Program
Public Access to the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve
Access to the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve is carefully considered for each parcel within the preserve system. The primary missions of the BCP are to permanently conserve and facilitate the recovery of the populations of targeted species. Staff limitations, budget constraints, and the delicate nature of the area’s ecosystem currently necessitate limited access on some tracts within the preserve.
All preserve lands are managed in accordance with the “BCP Land Management Plan” approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1999. These guidelines grant limited public access in areas where such use does not compromise the requirement “to preserve and facilitate the recovery of the listed species”. Hiking and educational tours are allowed under certain conditions, but some uses are not permitted until it can be demonstrated that these activities have no negative impacts on the listed species or their habitat.
Tracts that were owned or managed by the BCP partners at the time the permit was issued were allowed to “grandfather” pre-existing public uses. Travis County Preserve sites with recreational access include Hamilton Pool Preserve and Wild Basin Preserve. Both of these sites offer year-round opportunities to explore the wildlife of the BCP. With prior arrangement, other Travis County preserve tracts are available for educational tours. Other BCP tracts with some permitted recreational uses include the City of Austin’s Barton Creek Greenbelt, Emma Long Park, Mount Bonnell Park, and Commons Ford Park.
Other BCP Partners include the Lower Colorado River Authority , the Travis Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy of Texas. For information concerning public access to tracts owned and managed by these partners, please contact these agencies directly.
If you have additional questions about public access and the BCP, please contact us.
Last Modified: Friday, July 19, 2013 4:24 PM